Denver, Colorado 2021-09-07 17:25:13 –
Most vertical drop amusement park rides are designed with shoulder restraints, Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Cave, where a 6-year-old girl died on Sunday It wasn’t.
The reason was to make it more exciting and “a little scarier”, according to a television interview conducted by the designer when the ride started in 2017.
Ride designer Stan Checketts of Providence, Utah told Fox31 that the ride was intentionally designed without a shoulder harness, even though most others, including those of his own design, had a shoulder harness.
Checketts did not immediately answer the call from The Denver Post on Tuesday.
Checketts founded and later sold S & S Sansei, one of the world’s largest amusement ride design manufacturers. According to Josh Hayes, director of sales and marketing for the company, the company has about 150 tower drop rides internationally (latest in China), and nothing without a shoulder harness.
According to Hayes, Haunted Mine Drops are free-fall, so they differ from what they designed, but everything they manufacture is pneumatically propelled.
“All our towers have shoulder restraints,” Hayes said. “When it comes to safety, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, even though I have a design that works really well.”
Hayes said that modern vehicles cannot operate unless one of the safety features is properly installed.
“All of our vehicles are electronically based to see if the restraints are improperly fixed,” he said. “There is redundancy. Rides cannot be dispatched without manually and electronically checking and verifying all constraints.”
According to a promotional video by Coaster Studios in May 2019, which interviewed park employees, Haunted Mine Drop Ride uses only seat belts and no safety bar. According to the video, the safety belt system relies on a metal rod that is locked in place beyond the rider’s knees.
The rider sits facing forward and raises his arms and legs in the direction of the operator. The 6-seat platform is then released, plunging through a tunnel-like tunnel. The ride takes about 2.5 seconds and falls 110 feet.
According to the video, the counterweight and braking system is used to slow down the ride as it approaches the bottom.
“I don’t even say it’s a bad idea,” Hayes said. “I don’t criticize a design without knowing its complexity. Safety is a priority for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make mistakes.”
Amusement park vehicle manufacturers around the world must comply with safety standards. According to Hayes, it is ASTM International in the United States.
Swiss RES designs all drop towers as “individual lap bars … giving the rider more freedom compared to over-the-shoulder restraints.” The height limit for the vehicle is set to 41 inches.
According to the park’s website, the Haunted Mine Drop had a height limit of 46 inches. According to various amusement park websites, other vertical drop rides across the country have different height limits from 37 inches to 51 inches, depending on the length of the drop.
The Tower of Doom in Denver’s Erich Gardens drops riders 200 feet at 60 mph. The minimum rider height is 48 inches.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a typical 6-year-old woman is about 42-49 inches tall.
“The challenge here is not to know the force exerted on the rider,” Hayes said. “A 6-year-old kid is also a tough age because some are tall and some are short. Ideally, rider limits are based on height, which is how we design things. is.”
State authorities regulating amusement park rides were expected to begin an investigation on Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear if an accident was reported at Glenwood Cave Amusement Park after 2017, but accident data collected by non-profit Saferparks revealed an accident in Glenwood Springs in August 2011. It shows that.
No specific park has been identified, but alpine roller coaster breaks have not been properly applied, indicating that the vehicle in which the 57-year-old woman was riding collided with the vehicle in front of it. According to the database, the woman broke.
According to RidesDatabase.org, Colorado reported only 13 amusement park ride injuries (two fatal) between 2010 and 2017.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the girl who died on Sunday, but said she was from Colorado Springs and was on vacation in Glenwood Springs with her family. The circumstances of her death have not been revealed. They said park employees tried to revive the girl immediately until the EMT arrived at around 7:45 pm shortly after the incident. She was declared dead on the scene. An autopsy will be done.
Colorado amusement park rides must be inspected annually before the general public is allowed to ride, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, which regulates them. The park hires inspectors from a list of 47 approved people provided by the agency. According to the agency’s website, the state has 171 facilities licensed for amusement park rides.
A CDLE spokeswoman said the vehicle has consistently passed inspections since its last opening in June this year.
“We rely heavily on the observations of certified third-party inspectors, as well as observations and notes from previous safety inspections, to determine the current condition of the ride,” spokeswoman Cher Roybal Haavind said in a statement. I mentioned in. “Interviews with all involved parties will also be reviewed to determine, to the best of our knowledge, what happened.”
She said the investigation could take “days or weeks” and a report would be published.
According to Hayes, accident investigations usually focus on the root cause.
“Are there any design flaws, or are parks using approved parts approved, or are they third parties?” Hayes said. “Are they performing regular maintenance and behaving as specified in the operating manual?”
He then said there was a human component, saying that many vehicles were run by teenagers.
“The loading and unloading process needs to be simple and easy to understand so that teens who follow the instructions can be confident that they can safely carry passengers,” he said.
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